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Laurene Weste: Stay cool and safe this summer in the SCV

Posted: May 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Memorial Day is almost here and that means a three-day weekend for most Americans. The annual holiday in honor of the brave men and women who’ve died serving our country to keep us safe and free is also considered the unofficial start of summer! Flags will be raised in honor of those we’ve lost, while families and friends will gather for backyard barbeques, lawn games, and poolside fun.

This holiday weekend’s temperatures are expected to be mild, but last week’s record-breaking temperatures were a reminder that triple-digit summer weather is just weeks away. Warmer temperatures mean more people turning to the water to stay cool. As you put the finishing touches on your weekend and summer plans, I ask that you take a few minutes to think about water safety. It only takes seconds for poolside fun to turn tragic. Drowning is silent and happens in a matter of seconds. Please consider attending a few of the free, fun, and informative events that follow and help keep your family and those you care about safe this summer when you are in and near water.

Learn about Water Safety with the Los Angeles County Fire Department
Drowning remains the leading cause of death in children under the age of 4, so the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the city, and other local businesses have joined forces to host a fun, informative afternoon — all in the name of saving lives and our precious children. The Water Safety Expo will take place next Saturday, May 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fire Station 126 on Citrus Street across from Westfield Valencia Town Center. The free event will include life-saving demonstrations, games, food trucks, giveaways, and workshops designed to empower families to save lives if and when an incident occurs.

Help Set a New World Record by Learning to Swim
On Friday, June 20, at 8 a.m., parents, children, families and friends are invited to join the city’s swim instructors at the Aquatic Center as they attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the world’s largest swimming lesson.

The city, in cooperation with swim instructors around the globe, will lead a 30-minute swim lesson covering basic water safety and skills at exactly the same time in an effort to shatter the 2013 world record. The city’s goal is to make sure every person is water safe. To participate in this great opportunity, sign up at and register for “The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.”

City Hosts Water Safety Day
Bring your friends and join city lifeguards and the Los Angeles County Fire Department for Water Safety Day on Friday, July 18, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Aquatic Center. The afternoon will include a review of water safety for kids, such as the importance of swimming with a buddy and the proper use of Coast Guard-approved lifejackets.

Drowning simulations will be used to illustrate how to save a distressed swimmer, and kid-friendly characters like Stewie the Duck will be on hand to get kids excited and involved. Lifeguards and fire officials will also be on hand to demonstrate and teach hands-only CPR.

Stay Cool — City’s Aquatic Center will be Open this Weekend
If you don’t want to wait until summer to enjoy a little recreational swimming at the Aquatic Center, then come out on Monday, May 26, and enjoy time in the pool. The city’s dive pool and play pool will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Memorial Day only. The pools will also be open on June 1 and June 7 for recreational swim from noon to 5 p.m., and then every day from noon to 5 p.m., beginning June 14. Fees for recreational swim are $4 for children and seniors and $6 for adults. The city also offers beginning swim lessons throughout the summer at pools citywide. Check SEASONS magazine, or visit us on line at:, or call the aquatic center at 661-250-3761 for more information.

On behalf of the Santa Clarita City Council and our local emergency response teams, I ask that you please take the time to prepare your family for the possibility of a water emergency. The free knowledge and skills you gain can help make this summer one you will remember for all the right reasons. Best wishes for a fun, and safe, Memorial Day weekend everyone. Let’s all keep ourselves and our children safe in the water this summer!

Mayor Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at



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